TOWN OF EMERALD ISLE
REGULAR PLANNING BOARD MEETING
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2000
The meeting was called to order by Co-chairman, Ceil Saunders. Members present were:
Ceil Saunders, Phil Almeida, George McLaughlin, Ed Dowling, Frank Vance, and David Schock and Secretary, Carol Angus. Chairman, Cary Harrison was out of town.
Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting September 18, 2000 – Motion to approve the minutes was made by Phil Almeida, second by Ed Dowling with the correction to add a word in a quote by Gus Farmakidis. The motion was unanimously approved. (Replay of the tape verified that Mr. Farmakidis did not finish his quote).
Approval of Minutes of Special Meeting, October 09, 2000 – Motion to approve the minutes was made by George McLaughlin, second by Phil Almeida with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.
Report from Town Manager – Mr. Pete Allen was attending another meeting out of town and had submitted a report of the decisions and business before the Town Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, October 11, 2000.
Report from Building Inspector – Ms. Angus reported to the board that building permits for the month of September had continued to drop with only three single family residences being permitted and a total estimated value for all permits of just over $1,000,000.00.
Letter of recommendation to the Board of Commissioners regarding rezoning of current RMH (Residential/Motel/Hotel) Zoning to R-2 (One and Two family dwellings). Mr. Schock had submitted a copy of the committee’s letter to each member. The committee felt that public awareness was the best manner to approach this situation. The primary reason being that it would avoid any legal confrontation with any current landowners. The second reason is the cost which would be a minimal benefit when it could be handled by notifying all the homeowners associations or subdivision developers that this could be an infringement on their residential properties. An awareness campaign would be much more cost effective. The subdivisions that currently have covenants, if it is not already written into the documents, should add an amendment to disallow any potential hotel or motel use being able to buy up the individual property for such use.
Any subdivision not having covenants might find it to their best interest to draw such and article for their property.
Mr. Dowling asked if the next step would be to proceed with this letter to the Town Attorney prior to it being forwarded to the Town Board of Commissioners. Mr. Schock replied that it should be forwarded to the attorney. Mr. Schock said it doesn’t propose any arena where there could be legal confrontation.
Mr Schock went on to say that the Board of Commissioners was concerned about the possibility that a large corporation could purchase the RMH land, or, already built-on property in a group, to use for a motel or hotel. After conversations with Mr. Allen and some of the "legal minds" that define zoning, it gets into a highly volatile issue.
Ms. Saunders advised that since the Boards had lowered the building heights, that this would not be practical because it would cut into a corporate "dollar per acre" issue for how much they could profit by such and project. Also, without septic system being available, they would have to purchase such a large portion of land to use as septic field that it would be cost prohibitive.
Mr. Schock thinks a good campaign directed at letting the subdivision property owners know of their zoning and eliminate it through their covenants. Letters could be sent to the Property Owners Associations to alert them of this possibility. Also to do an article in the Island Review , the quarterly Emerald Tidings, and post it on the web site. Some covenants have already incorporated this into their documents, Lands End for one.
Motion was made by Ed Dowling to forward the letter submitted to the Board of Commissioners for their next meeting, second by Frank Vance with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.
Bill Farrington represented this project.
Mr. Dowling said he saw no bulkheading on the slope and the other two sites had no bulkheading. He wanted to know if this board should delve into that issue.
Rick Farrington said bulkheads are highly controversial by the environmentalists.
He advised that they are encouraging the growth of beach grasses on the slopes.
There was some discussion about the water retention system for water runoff regarding how well done the system was around each building.
Mr. Dowling said he was concerned about the concrete slab for the project. Mr. Bill Farrington said that sand had all been compacted and allowed to set for six months or so, so that rain and weather will help with further compaction. Rick said there have been no washouts, even with all the rain we’ve had this season.
Mr. Almeida said he wanted to look at existing and final grades on the lot. He wanted to see the methods for storm drainage. He was advised that these maps are on file with the Inspections Department. Mr. Almeida wants the dimension of the concrete walk toward Bogue Sound, the width and length. That will be added to the revised map for the next review process.
Motion to recommend this project to the Review Committee on October 18 was made by Phil Almeida with second by David Schock, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.
Mr. Larry Spell, developer, was in attendance for any questions the board may have.
Mr. McLaughlin asked if this project is near the "big hill"? He was advised by Mr. Spell that it "is" the big hill that the only disturbance will be to install the road and shoulders to access the 12 lots. The street will be a steep grade and the various lots undulate at the top of the hill.
The drainage plan is designated by arrows to show how the water will flow. It goes down the hill to a pre-existing culvert that is under the road to ditches along sides of the other road, through another culvert under Osprey Ridge Rd to another culvert that flows to the wetlands. The properties from the cul-de-sac will flow from an easement to the east to the wetlands area.
Mr. Almeida said (1) he does not see finished grades on the plan. Two (2) he is concerned about whether the culvert is adequate to carry that capacity. And, (3) there may be an erosion problem as development begins. What are the plans for erosion problems?
Mr. Spell said the street shoulders will be sodded.
Mr. Almeida said the finished grades are not clearly marked on the map he has; there is a lot of information in a small area. He went on to ask that, even though the map is to scale, that it might be advisable to have a larger map done to make it easier to read the information and contours. Mr. Spell said he would talk to Mr. McLean about doing that for the board.
Mr. Almeida tried to clarify what he was requesting; that a longitudinal section be prepared showing the slope along the road; i.e. how steep it is coming down. Then a profile how the erosion of the sides of the road will be controlled.
He also wants to be sure the culvert has adequate capacity for this much water.
He wants to see the computations to that end.
Mr. Dowling asked if there would be any work done in the 404 wetland area. Mr. Spell replied that that area will not be touched.
Motion was made by Phil Almeida to forward Osprey Bluffs to Review Committee, second by George McLaughlin, with unanimous approval.
- Sunset Harbor Condominiums, Lot 2, Block 38, Final Plat – Rick Farrington,
- Osprey Bluff, Block 43 North, 12-lot subdivision, Preliminary Plat –
Mr. Larry Spell wanted to make the comment related to rezoning from RMH to R2 that in all the projects he had developed, that the protective covenants would preclude the assumption of the subdivision as a motel or hotel use. He wanted to voice the opinion that he agreed with the Planning Board that the letter to not recommend rezoning was the best method to do, and to make property owners aware.
Mr. David Schock said that the west end of the island has the majority of any RMH that is undeveloped, Mr. Spell owning a portion of that. Mr. Spell said there is not enough of his property to make it feasible for such a use.
Vice-Chairman Saunders advised that additional information is forthcoming from Kemly-Horne regarding the traffic study to be done at Coast Guard and Emerald Drive by November 02, 2000.
Mr. Schock said he is still amazed that tax dollars were spent on the previous study and no resolution or suggestions were submitted by Kemly-Horne or Benchmark. We know we have a problem and have to do something, but they offered only an early September traffic count.
Mr. Dowling said he thought D.O.T. had given the best information and study. He felt that the two studies that were done had let everybody down. No safety, no sidewalk studies, no pedestrian comment, and suggestions for the blind curve and for drainage.
Commissioner Wootten added that the original intent was to determine what level of development the property could take. A lot of good points have been brought up, but the level of development is the first issue. The road needs to be improved, with an 80’ right of way all the way around the bend. He agreed that possibly the questions had not been asked correctly with the two firms.
Mr. Schock said he thought the firms would know what was wanted.
Commissioner Wootten reminded the members that a window of up to 18 months will be required by D.O.T. for their study. Possibly the developer should be a part of the solution.
Mr. Almeida said that the Kemly-Horne study was in conflict with the D.O.T. study, which said there would be acceptable level of service when the land was built out. He has been here on weekends in the summer and seen the traffic jams, that is not an accept-able level of service.
Mr. Rick Farrington and Bill Farrington advised the members of the regulations they have had to abide by in their pursuit of any development.
Mr. Almeida gave a background of the way the development has been done along Coast Guard Road. The plan to help the problem will be quite costly. Does the town want to hold the line at the present time and not make it worse?
Mr. Almeida read from a lengthy prepared statement (copy with these minutes). The end result to be that the Planning Board should require that a plan be submitted that shows how the project will contain the storm runoff. Mr. Almeida also had examples of land that had been filled, inspections done, and now some years later, that the houses are cracking.
Mr. Almeida then made the following suggestions:
If an owner wants to fill ponds or wetlands, they must provide a new retention basin of equal capacity. It should be above the water table.
Examine 5 or 6 permits for fill and see if any improvements can be made. This is not to prevent filling, but to fill in a properly defined manner to not cause a problem to the neighbor or to the town.
There was then additional discussion between Mssrs. Farrington, Commissioner Wootten, and Planning Board Members. One of the issues Commissioner Wootten addressed was that the Inspections Dept. does not have the personnel or the tools to do stormwater plans, in house, for single family and duplex residences. The commercial projects are done by engineers. He asked that some engineering input be put toward residential lots.
Ms. Saunders said that those who fill property should not be able to create a problem for an adjoining neighbor, to gain an ocean view.
Some of the Emerald Isle residents made comments regarding their particular subdivi-sions or properties in regard to flooding.
Motion to adjourn made by Ed Dowling, second by Fil Almeida, with unanimous approval in favor of the motion.